GFM Network News


The big brown bat is one of several species found in Alberta. Although the incidence of rabies in bats is low in the province, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association strongly recommends people have their pets vaccinated.

Rabies case in farm cat prompts vaccination warning

Two people were recently bit by a farm cat that likely contracted rabies from a bat

A rabid farm cat that bit its owner and another person has prompted the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association to warn pet owners to vaccinate against rabies. The association said the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian received notification of the positive rabies test on Nov. 13. “This nine-year-old, indoor-outdoor cat was born and lived on a […] Read more

Tick season now underway

Alberta isn’t yet a hot spot for ticks carrying Lyme disease, but they are here — and farmers should be on guard

Ticks may be unavoidable in farming, but getting bitten isn’t. The blacklegged tick, or deer tick, has become infamous for transmitting Lyme disease (which counts muscle aches, joint, heart and neurological problems and fatigue among its many symptoms), babesiosis (also causing flu-like symptoms and ramping up to anorexia, joint pain and a possible hospital visit), […] Read more


Keira Forsyth performs physiotherapy on a client with a rotator cuff injury.

Unique physiotherapy clinic treats both horse and rider

What do horses and physiotherapy have in common? Plenty, say Sandra Oxtoby and Keira Forsyth, the owners of Equus Physio. “Keira and myself are registered human physiotherapists,” said Oxtoby. “We both grew up riding horses and we had our own injuries.” The two say many chiropractors, physiotherapists, or massage therapists, many of the health-care professionals […] Read more

Mental health training to be part of first aid courses

St. John Ambulance is making mental health training part of its standard and emergency first aid courses. “We currently offer mental health first aid courses in several provinces,” said Philip Clarke, chancellor of the Priory Council that oversees St. John Ambulance. “Integrating a mental health module into our standard and emergency first aid courses is […] Read more



Parasites are often a hidden health hazard because cattle don’t look sick, says parasitology professor, John Gilleard.

Parasites could be costing you big bucks without you even realizing it

Infected cattle often look healthy, but their daily gain might be up to half a pound lower than it should be

Little is known about the impact of parasites on Canadian cattle production. But one thing is sure — resistance to the medication used to treat these parasites is growing. “There’s a lack of local information and a lack of information on parasites in Canada. That’s a problem,” John Gilleard, professor of parasitology in the University […] Read more


Buffalo beans are toxic, but that’s a good thing when looking for compounds that could fight cancer.

Cancer-fighting drugs in your pasture?

University of Lethbridge researchers have already found one native plant — buffalo beans — that offers early promise

Plants you see every day in your pasture could contain valuable components for cancer-fighting drugs. Scientists from the University of Lethbridge recently found that buffalo beans, a plant commonly found in pastures in the south, contain compounds that may be beneficial to people fighting cancer. “We’ve always been interested in my lab in looking for […] Read more